Avoid Confrontations With Emerging Bruins

Avoid Confrontations With Emerging Bruins

Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maryland – -(AmmoLand.com)- Keep Maryland’s Black Bears Wild Annapolis, Md. (April 2, 2009) – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding citizens that live in or visit bear country that they can help keep Maryland’s black bears wild.

Bears emerge from their dens in April and begin looking for food after being in or near their dens for several months. Natural foods are often scarce in the early spring, sometimes causing bears to cover great distances in search of adequate nutrition. During this time, bears are easily attracted to human-provided food sources, usually creating a problem for both the bears and people. Bears can easily become habituated to human-provided food sources and begin to associate people with food. This can lead to potentially dangerous situations for both people and bears.

“Keeping bears wild is a community effort that benefits both bears and people,” said Harry Spiker, DNR Game Mammal Section Leader. “Using care to avoid attracting bears now can help keep them away throughout the year.”

Trash and birdfeeders are two potential food sources that often lure bears into developed areas.

Steps should be taken to avoid a visit from a bear:

  • Keep trash locked in a bear- proof trash container or inside a building until the day of trash pick-up.
  • Remove trash often so food odors are less likely to attract unwanted wildlife.
  • Rinse or clean trash cans with ammonia after they are emptied.
  • Remove birdfeeders from April through November as bears are active during these months.

Songbirds will not suffer. There are plenty of natural food sources available during these months. At the very least, it is recommended that birdfeeders be brought in at night when bears are most active. This prevents bears from eating the birdseed, destroying the feeder or becoming habituated to people.

Maryland’s black bear population is centered in Garrett, Allegany, Washington and Frederick counties. For more information on living with black bears please call the Western Region DNR Service Center at 301-777-2136 or visit us online